Energy and quality of life

Cesar Pasten*, Juan Carlos Santamarina

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Energy is required to sustain life. A human-centered analysis of the worldwide energy situation is conducted in terms of quality of life-related variables that are affected, but not directly determined, by energy consumption. Data since 1980 show a continuous global increase in both energy consumption and quality of life, and lower population growth in countries with higher quality of life. Based on these trends, we advance non-linear energy consumption predictions and identify various plausible scenarios to optimally steer future energy demands, in order to maximize quality of life. The scenarios consider the coupling between energy consumption rate per capita, quality of life, population growth, social inequality, and governments' energy-for-life efficiency. The results show the energy cost of increasing quality of life in the developing world, energy savings that can be realized by limiting overconsumption without impacting quality of life, and the role of governments on increasing energy-for-life efficiency and reducing social inequality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)468-476
Number of pages9
JournalEnergy Policy
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012


  • Energy conservation
  • Energy consumption
  • Quality of life

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy(all)
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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